14 April 2021

Fitting the Lyra Shirt Dress

Fitting the Lyra Shirt Dress - Tilly and the Buttons

Making the Lyra shirt dress and want a helping hand on how to get a great fit? Well then, this post is right up your street! 

Lyra is our first sewing pattern available in two size bands - either in sizes UK 6-24 or UK 16-34. This post is going to cover the most common fitting adjustments you may want to make to your Lyra shirt dress for both size bands :)

Lyra has an oversized, blousy bodice with bust darts, quite a bit of ease at the waist, and a flowy, gathered skirt. This means it not only looks ultra-cool (if we do say so ourselves) but is also relatively simple to fit - yay! 

In this post we're going to cover: 

  • Making a toile 
  • Choosing your size
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • How to do bust adjustments for a bust darted bodice 
  • How to do wide and narrow shoulder adjustments

Fitting the Lyra Shirt Dress - Tilly and the Buttons


Making a toile

12 April 2021

Inspiration & Fabric Picks For Lyra


Let's get into Lyra! By now we hope you're as obsessed with our newest sewing pattern Lyra as we are! If you're yet to meet her, then check out this blog post which will give you all the deets, including the expansion of our size range. Lyra might just be one of our most fabric versatile sewing patterns yet, which makes her a winner for all seasons. So hopefully, this blog post will provide you with lots of inspiration to sew a Lyra for every month of the year... 

This ultra-cool shirt dress has an oversized, blousy bodice with bust darts, button front opening, two-piece collar and stand, and, of course, side seam pockets (how could we not?!). The gathered skirt can be hemmed just above the knee, or add the midi panel for a trendy tiered look. Choose between short sleeves for easy-breezy summer style or full-length billowy sleeves with elasticated cuffs. Wear Lyra loose and floaty, or add an optional narrow tie to cinch you in at the waist. I wasn't lying when I said 'versatile'!



Get your copy of our new Lyra shirt dress sewing pattern HERE. Lyra is available in TWO size bands. If you are in between the two size charts, check out this post to see which one is right for you. 

Florals

Dresses:  yellow, pink/purple, bluegreenyellow
Fabrics: yellowlilacblackgreen/multi

Lyra is destined to be sewn in a floaty floral viscose, and luckily the fabric shops are full of options all year round! Go bold with an oversized floral print, or pick an easy to wear ditsy print. Style your floral Lyra with sandals and a straw bag in the summer, then with boots and an on-trend knitted vest in cooler months to get maximum wears out of your gorgeous dress. You could even go all-in with the floral theme and opt for adorable flower-shaped buttons, check out this amazing selection (I've got a few on order...).

7 April 2021

Meet the Lyra Dress - Our First UK 6-34 Sewing Pattern!

 Lyra dress - UK 6-34 sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

Are you ready for a new swoonsome addition to the TATB collection? Say hello to the romantic yet comfy Lyra shirt dress which is the first pattern available in both our new UK 16-34 size range and our existing UK 6-24 size range - yay! 

Packed with beautiful details, Lyra is sure to capture your heart - especially those billowy long sleeves. With two sleeve and hem lengths to choose from, Lyra can be made at any time of the year, no matter what hemisphere you're in. Lyra is a great pattern to build your skills as you'll be tackling sewing a collar and beautiful buttonholes - you'll be so proud to say you made it yourself! 

Lyra dress - UK 6-34 sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

NEW UK 16-34 SIZE RANGE

The Lyra shirt dress is available in our new UK 16-34 size range, which has a whole new size chart, going up to a 152.5cm (60in) bust, 134.5cm (53in) waist and 155cm (61in) hip, with different proportions to get the best fit. The most noticeable difference in the proportions from our current patterns is that the tummy is slightly fuller and the bust is curvier (a 10cm/4in difference between high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm/2in difference in our current chart). 

Want a little more help picking which size range is best for you? Check out this blog post which guides you through the differences.


6 April 2021

Choosing Your Tilly and the Buttons Size Band

Choosing your size band - Tilly and the Buttons
We're thrilled to announce the launch of our new UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62) size band! 

All patterns that are released in this new size band will also be available in our current UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52) sizes too. This blog post will explain the difference between the two size bands, and provide more information about our sizing in general.

So if you're wondering what size band to pick, or want to find out more info about our new sizes, then read on! 



Ok, let's start at the beginning. What's a size band?

You're going to see the term 'size band' used a lot in this post, so let me answer this first! The size band indicates the range of pattern sizes included with your pattern purchase. 

What this means is when you purchase a pattern available up to a size UK 34 (US 30 / EUR 62), you will choose at checkout the size band which best fits your measurements - one that fits a UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52) OR one that fits UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62). 

What sizes are included in the new size band?

The patterns in our new size band are available in sizes UK 16-34 (US 12-30 / EUR 44-62). In our size chart, this will go up to a 152.5cm (60in) bust, 134.5cm (53in) waist and 155cm (61in) hip. Our newest pattern, the Lyra dress is available in this new size band, as well as our current UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52) size band. 

Why are the sizes split into two separate size bands?

Simply put, they are two different patterns of the same design.

At the development stage, the pattern design is drafted in two different sizes. These are both tried on by fit models, and both patterns are analysed for fit and adjusted accordingly. When we're happy with the patterns, they are sent for grading in their respective size bands separately. One becomes a size UK 6-24 pattern, and the other a UK 16-34 size pattern. Both patterns are the same design - with some slight tweaks here and there - but are drafted and graded with a particular size range in mind for an optimum fit! Both size bands are tested separately and adjusted according to feedback. 

What are the differences between the UK 16-34 and UK 6-24 size bands?

First and foremost, the size UK 16-34 size band has five additional sizes to our current UK 6-24 size band. Take a look at our body measurements charts for more details for each size. 

Also, the two size bands are drafted with different proportions in mind. The new UK 16-34 size band has a slightly fuller tummy, and has more room across the bust compared to the UK 6-24 size band - with a 10cm/4in difference between the high bust and full bust as opposed to 5cm/2in difference. 

This is great news for those of you who have been telling us you have a larger bust, including those of you in the upper half of our existing size chart – five of the sizes overlap, so you can choose which one to buy depending on your shape. 

As with any size, bear in mind that a pattern is only a template, so we would always recommend you make any fitting tweaks needed to match your own unique shape – for example, if you’re more pear-shaped than the proportions in the size chart.

My size falls in both of the size bands - what pattern should I buy?

It's completely up to you! There is an overlap of 5 pattern sizes (sizes UK 16-24) on both size bands, to ensure that people whose measurements span several sizes are catered for in each size band. It's worth having a look at our body measurement charts and choosing the size that best suits your proportions. 

If you often find that you need more room in the bust and waist area, then the UK16-34 size range is for you, as there is a 10cm (4inch) difference between the high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm (2in) for the 6-24 size band. 

If you don't usually need more room in the bust, or you feel like there's usually a bit too much room in that area, then go for the UK 6-24 size band. 

What happens if I'm between sizes?

Again, take a look at our body measurement charts and choosing the size that best suits your proportions. If your body measurements mostly match, for example, a size UK16, but you're a size UK 14 at the hips for example and you don't usually need more room across the bust, then our UK 6-24 range will fit you best. 

If your measurements mostly match a size UK 16, but you feel your clothes often pull across the bust and waist, or you often do a full bust adjustment to your front bodices, the UK 16-34 size band will provide a better fit. 

What are the other benefits of the UK 16-34 size band?

To develop our UK 16-34 patterns, we've been working with an amazing pattern cutter who has extensive experience working with well-known UK fashion brands to analyse body shapes, develop size charts and draft patterns for plus sizes. Plus we’ve enlisted the expertise of a new-to-us grader who has specialist knowledge of extended pattern sizing and grading.

Practically, this means that our UK 16-34 patterns have been drafted and graded with this size range in mind, especially in places like the bicep, neck, wrist and shoulders. 

What format are the UK 16-34 patterns available in?

Currently, the size UK 16-34 patterns are available as PDFs to print either at home on A4 or Letter size paper, or at a copy shop or pattern printing service on A0.

Choosing your size band - Tilly and the Buttons


Will you release more patterns in the UK 16-34 size range?

Yes! At present our Lyra shirt dress pattern is available in this size range, and in the coming weeks, we will release two of our best selling patterns too. We're also working on three brand new designs to release in both size bands, and two more popular patterns from our core collection, all to be released this year (fingers crossed!). 

I already own a pattern in the UK 6-24 size range that I see you've released in the new size band too. Can I have it in sizes UK 16-34 too?

Yes! If you email hello@tillyandthebuttons.com with your order number, we'll send you the same pattern in the UK 16-34 band free of charge. 

---------------------------------

Author: Nikki Hoar

Models: Sarah Baillie and Marcela Solarte

Photographer: Jane Looker







31 March 2021

How to Make Thread Chain Belt Loops (with Video!)

How to Make Thread Chain Belt Loops (with video!) - Tilly and the Buttons

Thread chains make lovely simple belt loops for narrow, lightweight waist ties. You can add them to the side seams on our Safiya dungarees, maternity Bettine dress, and our forthcoming Lyra dress (sneak peek alert!). 
Once you get the hang of the technique, they come together in just a few minutes.

How to make thread chain belt loops - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to watch the steps in action? Check out our video tutorial...



How to make thread chain belt loops - Tilly and the Buttons

24 March 2021

FREE PATTERN! Oversized Detachable Collar


Try a cute detachable collar to style up your outfits this season! Perhaps you're loving the oversized and statement collar blouses that are popping up but aren't ready to commit to the full look? We've got you covered with our FREE detachable collar pattern download. Perfect for pairing with our Billie Sweatshirt or Indigo Smock sewing patterns for some on-trend Spring layering.

In this post, I'll be sharing a step-by-step tutorial on how to sew the collar, including a helpful video tutorial. Plus I'll list just some of the customisation possibilities at the end. Enjoy!


DOWNLOAD THE FREE COLLAR PATTERN

Open the pattern file in Adobe Reader (you can download it for free). Print the pattern on either A4 or Letter size paper, selecting “actual size” or “set scaling to 100%” or “turn off scaling” in your print settings. You can double-check the pattern has printed at full scale by measuring the test square - it should be exactly 60mm x 60mm. Cut off the borders and join the sheets together with glue or tape, lining up the triangles.


You will need:

  • Approximately 1m (1 1/8yd) fabric - or use a combination of smaller scraps from your stash. Cotton work best or, if you want to use a lightweight fabric (like viscose) we'd recommend interfacing the top layer for stability
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine and basic tools

17 March 2021

Sleepwear Sewing Projects for Golden Slumbers

Sleepwear sewing patterns for golden slumbers by Tilly and the Buttons

There's nothing better than pulling on a fresh pair of PJs ready for a good night's sleep, is there? Actually, there is... pulling on a fresh pair of me-made pyjamas makes that feeling even better! 

It's World Sleep Day on the 19th of March, and the theme for 2021 is "Regular Sleep, Healthy Future". Comfy sleepwear that signifies bedtime and slowing down can really help your body feel it's time to rest.

If you've never made your own pyjamas, it's time to change that! We have some sleepwear sewing patterns that are not just cute and comfy, they are easy to sew - with no fiddly fastenings so you can whip up multiple pairs. You can have so much fun with patterns, prints and colour combinations because you aren't going to be leaving the house in them (I always edge towards cat or food print fabrics myself!).

Pyjama bottoms are also a great first sewing project for beginners as they are often secured with elastic or a drawstring, so require minimal fitting. 

We also have a couple of must-have sleepwear accessories that will complete your me-made sleepwear capsule. So, without further ado, onto the projects...

Jaimie pyjamas easy sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Jaimie pyjamas - in sizes UK 4-24 (US 0-20 / EUR 32-52)


The Jaimie pyjama bottoms and shorts are a perfect entry project to kickstart your sewing journey. They are simple to sew and come with a sewalong video on YouTube so you can watch each step and feel like you are sitting in a class, but one that you can rewind and pause as you need.

Jaimie pyjamas easy sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons

You can make Jaimie as super-comfy elasticated full-length bottoms, with an optional drawstring, or as cute boyfriend shorts that are perfect for the warmer months. If you are an experienced sewer, you can whip up multiple pairs in an afternoon to fill the PJ gaps in your me-made wardrobe.

Oh, and one more thing... the shorts can be made out of ONE METRE of fabric, so they are a great project for using up small bits of fabric or remnants you have leftover from other projects - yasss!

Joe pyjamas easy sewing pattern by Tilly and the Buttons
Joe pyjamas - in men's size 28-46






Have you heard Jaimie has a brother? The Joe pyjamas have a longer and straighter menswear fit and can be sewn as full-length bottoms or above-the-knee shorts. They are as easy-peasy to sew as Jaimie is - yippee! 

Jaimie & Joe stitchers, you might like these YouTube videos...

How to Sew Pyjama Bottoms

How to Finish Seams with a Zigzag Stitch

How to Sew an Elasticated Waist Channel

A Trick to Turn Out Narrow Tubes, Straps or Drawstrings

Juno pyjamas sewing pattern from Make It Simple by Tilly Walnes
Juno pyjamas from Make It Simple - in sizes UK 6-24 (US 2-20 / EUR 34-52)

10 March 2021

Sewing For The Season - Spring!

Hands up who's ready for spring? As soon as the daffodils start popping up in the local park, regardless of the single figure temperatures that are still showing in the weather app, I'm straight into my spring sewing plans and ready to put the 90 denier tights away! 

In today's post, we've had a browse at the trends hitting the high-street this season and how we can sew the looks ourselves. I hope this post will inspire your spring sewing and spark some ideas, and we promise it's not all florals...

Fancy seeing some of our spring pick patterns in action? Check out our video below for more spring sewing talk with Abi:



Comfy & casual layering


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8



1. viscose jersey, 2. crepe, 3. stretch denim, 4. stretch denim

It's hard to predict what the weather's going to do from one day to the next, especially in the UK, so layering is key for this in-between season. Let's start with the basics - we have a large selection of top patterns that make great base layer tops. From our fitted Agnes top to our more relaxed Coco top, depending on what you're in the mood for we've got you covered with multiple sleeve lengths and necklines. But if you're looking for the ultimate T-shirt sewing pattern, you've got to check out the Tabitha T-shirt from our book Make It Simple!

Dungarees are a must-have for easy (and mega comfy) transitional dressing and we've got a bunch of versatile options for you! Our Mila dungarees are a classic shape, perfect for fabric like denim and twill, with classic blue denim dominating the spring trends. Then we have our ultra-comfy Marigold and Safiya from Make It Simple styles which work perfectly with lighter weight fabrics like chambray, viscose and double gauze. 


Tiers on tiers on tiers


1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

3 March 2021

Tilly's Sewing Books and What You Can Make with Them!

Tilly's sewing books and what you can make with them!

It's World Book Day tomorrow and we're thinking about our most treasured books. Like loooads of other sewists, I (Louise) used Tilly's first book, Love at First Stitch, as a tool when I first started sewing. And because of that, it's a book that will always have a very special place in my heart :) 

Since releasing her first book in 2014, Tilly has written three titles - all published by Quadrille (Hardie Grant) - that pass on her tips and tricks. They all contain a range of sewing patterns, so you can practise techniques while making gorgeous clothes that you will be proud to say you made yourself!

They're an excellent way to get into sewing, as you get a number of garment patterns to work with that build in difficulty as you go. You can pick up handy tips and tricks as you progress that will set you up with sewing skills for life. As Tilly holds back on all the confusing sewing jargon, the books are user-friendly and easy to follow. Plus, they are pretty to look at, which is how I pick most of my books!

If you are thinking about getting one of Tilly's books, you might be wondering which one is the best for you. And, what's in these gorgeous books I hear so much about? Grab a cuppa, and come on into the sewing library - shhh!

Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes - perfect for beginners

Love at First Stitch - £25

Tilly's first book captures the spark that is ignited when you first sit at the machine. Everything is so new and exciting, and nothing is off-limits. Love at First Stitch will take you through all the essential things you need to know when you are getting into sewing, and will guide you through projects that will help you build up a handmade wardrobe while learning sewing skills that you will count on later in your sewing life. Basically it's like taking a dressmaking course, but in book form.

BEST FOR - Absolute beginners

Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes - a perfect introduction to sewing

STYLE - A nod to 60s fashion

WHAT CAN I MAKE? - The book includes five main patterns - pyjama bottoms, a skirt, two dresses and a blouse. Also included are two simple patterns you draft yourself, guided by Tilly, for a scarf and skirt. All the patterns have multiple ways you can make them so you can get so much out of the book.

Love at First Stitch sewing patterns by Tilly Walnes

24 February 2021

A trick for turning narrow loops - with video!

A trick for turning narrow loops, waist ties, drawstrings and straps - Tilly and the Buttons

Ever sewn a drawstring, button loop, waist tie, narrow strap, or other teeny tube before wondering how on Earth you're going to turn it right sides out?

I've shared in a previous post how to turn out narrow tubes or loops using a bodkin or a dedicated loop turner. Here's another way of doing it, using just the thread on your sewing machine - with video! You can use this method to make the drawstrings on the Jaimie PJs or Joe PJsMake It Simple book patterns - the Tabitha dress, Safiya dungarees, Suki dress, Stretch! book patterns the Stella hoody and joggers,  Maternity Agnes top and the waist tie on the Maternity Bettine dress.

If you want to watch this magical process in action, check out the video below :)


It begins before you've started sewing the fabric strip into a tube...

A trick for turning narrow loops, waist ties, drawstrings and straps - Tilly and the Buttons

Start by pulling out the bobbin and spool threads on your sewing machine, so you have about 5cm (2in) or so more than the length of the strip you're sewing together.

17 February 2021

Seven Tips for Sewing Maternity Clothes

Seven Tips for Sewing Maternity Clothes - Tilly and the Buttons

If you're reading this and pregnant, first of all, congratulations! It's an exciting - if nerve-wracking and exhausting - time, and making some of your own maternity clothes is a lovely way to slow down and celebrate the wonder of your changing body.

At the time of writing, I'm in my fourth pregnancy, and hoping to meet our second little one in a few weeks' time. I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some tips I've learnt about sewing for this season of my life in case you're planning to make your own maternity clothes too.

First up - why make your own maternity clothes? Why not just buy them instead? Ready-to-wear maternity clothes are very limited, and personally I've found it difficult to buy maternity clothes that are a) in my size, b) not just black or khaki, and c) to my taste, so have enjoyed making a few colourful pieces that are unique to me. And, if you're a sewing addict like me, you're not going to want to stop making things just because you're pregnant!

Onto the tips...

Maternity Agnes top in lilac stripe - worn by Tilly
Maternity Agnes top sewing pattern

1) Comfort is key

From achey hip joints to swollen ankles, pregnancy takes its toll on your body. So it's more important than ever to focus on comfort. Think soft jersey fabrics that feel nice against your skin, stretchy of flowy garments, the kind of thing you could have a quick schluff in if you get the chance! 

10 February 2021

Plans for More Pattern Sizes - and a Call for Testers!

Overhead photo of a yellow cutting mat and pattern making tools

As you may have read in my blog post from December, we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes developing a new size band for our sewing patterns. Read on to find out more details of what we have planned, the process involved, and a call for pattern testers to help us get a great fit!

First of all, why are we creating a whole new size band?

I started Tilly and the Buttons because I wanted sewing to be accessible and inspiring to more people,  and decided to do something constructive about it. One of our main focuses and points of differentiation from other pattern brands out there has been introducing sewing to new people, including the younger generations and those of us who had never been taught the techniques. We aim to break down the barriers of lack of skills and creative confidence with user-friendly patterns, a wealth of free sewing resources and a hearty dose of encouragement. 

This is still – and will remain to be – a big focus for us. But one of the other barriers stopping even more people enjoying sewing is the availability of sewing patterns that fit the variety of body shapes and sizes out there.

Over the past couple of years we’ve been adding additional sizes up to a UK 24 to our core collection of new and most popular patterns, making 18 patterns to date in this extended sizing. But we know there are more people outside of this size range who would love to join in the fun of making our patterns. If we continued to add extra sizes to our existing patterns, the proportions wouldn’t end up quite right. So getting a great fit means starting from scratch with the patterns and their proportions.

So what we’ve done is created a whole new size chart with different proportions, from UK 16 – 34 (US 12 – 30 / EUR 44 – 62). In our chart, this will go up to a 152.5cm (60in) bust, 134.5cm (53in) waist and 155cm (61in) hip.

The most noticeable difference in the proportions from our current patterns is that the tummy slightly fuller and the bust will be curvier (a 10cm/4in difference between high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm/2in difference in our current chart). This is great news for those of you who have been telling us you have larger boobs, including those of you in the upper half of our existing size chart – five of the sizes overlap, so you can choose which one to buy depending on your shape. 

3 February 2021

Spring PDF Sewing Pattern Sale!

PDF sewing patterns - Tilly and the Buttons

Spring is the perfect time to get stitching, which means it's also a great time for a little sale! 

Our PDF patterns are on offer until midnight GMT Sunday 7th February 2021 - when you buy one PDF pattern, you get another one half price*. Yessssss!

There's no code needed, and you can use the offer across multiple patterns - so if you buy four patterns, two of them will be half price, and so on.

SHOP PDF SEWING PATTERNS

So why are PDF patterns such a great option? Well, you can download them immediately after purchase, and either print them at home straight away or send them to a pattern printer or copy shop to print for you - so nothing can stand in the way of your sewing session. You can print them as many times as you like, so if you need to do lots of adjustments or want to sew a different size in the future, you can easily print another fresh copy. If you also like to sew gifts for other people you can print off a copy in their size rather than using your personal pattern - genius!

Another pretty important plus - storage. Yep, we all know that when you sew you amass lots of things which can mean your sewing stash gets out of control very quickly. A digital sewing pattern library helps to keep your patterns appropriately "Marie Kondo-ed" until you need them. If you keep your library in a digital cloud you can check out your pattern stash and their fabric requirements when you are fabric shopping - speedy searching equals more fabric browsing time which we like! 

PDF sewing patterns - Tilly and the Buttons


Are you a fan of pattern mash-ups or hacks? PDF patterns make it easy to print off the pattern pieces you need, without touching the original. You can print off your favourite sleeve, pocket, belt, bodice, and so on, to use when you come to create your "Frankenpattern". Again, with a digital pattern, you can do this without touching the original - winning! 

Tilly and the Buttons PDF patterns come with two printing options - print-at-home on A4/Letter size paper, then stick the sheets together to make one full size pattern. It can be done in front of the telly with snacks... or is that just me?! If you're a newbie to this process you might find our handy guide to using digital sewing patterns - with video - useful. You'll be a pro in no time :) 

Your PDF pattern also comes with a large format copyshop file (usually A0 size) that you can send off to a sewing pattern printer or copyshop to be printed on large sheets of paper, which means no sticking the pattern together - phew! You may find your local print shop offers large format printing, or try one of the many sewing businesses that offer this service. This blog post explains A0 printing in a little more detail. 

So, are you going to join the PDF sewing pattern gang? Here are a few of our pattern picks from the spring sale that will get you started on your digital journey :)

Billie sweatshirt and dress sewing pattern

#SewingBillie

If you haven't joined the Billie brigade yet, now is your time! Our latest sewing pattern - and most popular launch to date - is a fab sweatshirt or comfy dress, which is simple to sew and has dreamy details like the optional balloon sleeves and cutaway dress pockets. You can do so much with this pattern and you most certainly will!

Shop the PDF Billie

Jaimie pyjama bottoms or shorts sewing pattern

27 January 2021

The Fast Way to Thread Your Overlocker or Serger (with Video!)

The fast way to thread your overlocker or serger - Tilly and the Buttons

Let's face it, threading an overlocker or serger isn't the most fun you could be having while sat at your sewing table. 

The good news is that it's actually quite rare that you'd need to thread it from scratch

More often than not, you can get away with this easy, speedy method of changing the threads that I'm going to show you - a method which doesn't require you to navigate all those hooks and loopers. Hooray!

The fast way to thread your overlocker or serger - Tilly and the Buttons

You'll need to do this while the machine is already threaded up, before any of the cones run out of thread - so keep a beady eye on those cones. It's the perfect way of rethreading if you just want to change the colour, for example.

20 January 2021

Your Makes!

Stella hoodie and joggers

Hands up if you're ready for some serious sewing inspo? It's Frances here, TATB's Office and Wholesale Assistant, with a roundup of some of your beautiful makes from our sewing patterns. Here at Buttons HQ, we love seeing what you've been sewing - and these are just a few of the gorgeous garments you've shared which are getting us all inspired for a new year full of sewing projects.

Over the past year, we've seen lots of you stitching your dream loungewear sets using the Stella hoodie and joggers patterns from Tilly's book Stretch!. Ruth made this gorgeous, sunshine yellow outfit which is perfect for brightening up those stay at home days. And is there anything cuter than Esther's candyfloss pink set with her co-ordinating trainers?

Lotta dress

The Lotta dress is a great project for beginners, or a satisfyingly speedy sew sure to kick your sewjo into gear! Gina's choice of a monochrome print works amazingly with the pattern's classic A-line shape. Linzi has hacked the pattern to add a mock turtleneck by using the Freya bodice and sleeves (pattern from the book Stretch!) instead of the original pattern pieces - which we have to say is genius!

13 January 2021

How to Make Shoulder Ruffles with Lettuce Edge Hem (Free Pattern!)

How to Make Shoulder Ruffles with Lettuce Edge Hem (Free Pattern!) - Tilly and the Buttons
How to Make Shoulder Ruffles with Lettuce Edge Hem (Free Pattern!) - Tilly and the Buttons

Fancy adding some cute, curled edge shoulder ruffles to one of your me-mades?

I added shoulder ruffles to one of my Billie sweatshirt dresses and loved the result so much I decided to make a free pattern so you can make them too! (Take a look at more photos of my Billie dress here.) You can also add these ruffles to the Freya top or dress from my book Stretch, or the Tabitha t-shirt or dress from my book Make it Simple – or basically any garment pattern designed for knit fabrics and which has a shoulder seam.

How to Make Shoulder Ruffles with Lettuce Edge Hem (Free Pattern!) - Tilly and the Buttons

In this post, I'm going to share a step-by-step tutorial for how to sew the shoulder ruffles, including a video on how to create the curled "lettuce edge" hem on an overlocker (AKA serger). If you don't have this machine, don't worry - keep reading to the end where I share an alternative method of making shoulder ruffles using just a regular sewing machine.

6 January 2021

Tilly's Shoulder Ruffle Billie Hack

Tilly's shoulder ruffle Billie sweatshirt hack - Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's shoulder ruffle Billie sweatshirt hack - Tilly and the Buttons

I love love love the simplicity of the regular sleeve version of the Billie sweatshirt dress. Having said that, I can't say no to a ruffle, so decided to add experiment with some little shoulder flourishes on one of my Billie creations. And I love the result!

Truth be told I got the inspiration from a similar top Khadija on The Apprentice once wore. Not my usual source of fashion inspiration, admittedly!

Tilly's shoulder ruffle Billie sweatshirt hack - Tilly and the Buttons
Tilly's shoulder ruffle Billie sweatshirt hack - Tilly and the Buttons

I cut out a long crescent shape piece for each ruffle, sewed a lettuce edge hem on my overlocker to give it that rippled effect, then gathered the other edge in place to the bodice shoulders before adding the sleeves. If you fancy adding some shoulder ruffles to your own make, stay tuned as I've got a full tutorial coming next week with a video AND a free pattern download ;)